As promised, here’s the notes from the recent Sibling Workshop:-
Our speaker is the sibling to an older sister with Autism. She took us through her journey as a sibling and how this has had a huge impact on her life and the career path she has chosen to take. Our speaker is a Trainee Educational Psychologist on the University of Southampton’s Doctorate course. She has just started her thesis on “The quality of life and school experiences of typically developing siblings of children with Autism”.
It was an emotional, heart warming and informative session. We talked about how siblings may find life really difficult as most of the attention is on the child with additional needs and how they often feel left out due to the other child’s/children’s care needs being higher, in turn they naturally receive more attention from parents and family members.
The feedback from the session was that it was a lot to cram into a few hours so the next session will be longer and will involve more around strategies to help siblings and focus on individual situations etc. We were slightly behind on time as the session started later than anticipated due to parking issues etc. Also, there was some confusion the day before the workshop if parents/carers were included on the attendee list so I feel for the next session, it would be good for parents to supply their email address in order for me to confirm that they they are on the attendee list. Overall the workshop was so useful and such an insight into how siblings of children with Autism/additional needs might feel and how this affects their relationship with their brother/sister(s) etc. The love that our speaker has for her sister shone through and it’s clear that although life can be difficult for siblings, the unconditional love remains
All training that we are organising via the forum is with a view to encouraging Participation and I am very pleased that another 6 parents signed up to the forum at the workshop
We are looking into holding another session in February/March so will keep you posted when we have definite dates.